27 February 2012

How To Deliver Worship Materials to Mobile Devices Using QR Codes

Posted in How To, Resources, Social Media, Tagged with mobile qr codes social media worship

In Four Easy Steps

chartQR or Quick Response codes are an increasingly popular way to quickly provide links and information to users of smart phones and tablets.

When scanned with a QR Reader App, they quickly convey contact information, website addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, calendar events, and more. Now, rather than typing in a website address, people can just scan the QR code and be taken directly to the site.

Our congregation has been using a QR codes for a while now. We include one in the Sunday bulleting that links to our Facebook page. This Sunday we took it a step further by making the entire liturgy available to people on their mobile devices.

I've always hoped for an alternative to all the paper we use on Sunday mornings, but I always imagined that the solution would be a technology that the church would provide - much like we do the bulletin. Now people are already coming to church with these devices - their smartphones and tablets. We don't need to invent or invest in the technology. We just need to make the materials available to them. Once you know how, its easy to do. And its free.

Here's how you can deliver your liturgy or any document to mobile device in four easy steps:

1. Convert your document to PDF

This is done by using the familar "Save As..." option in Word or "Export..." in Pages for the Mac.

2. Put your new PDF document online

If you don't have one already, create a Dropbox account. Dropbox is a cloud service that allows you to save and share files online. The basic account is free. Every Dropbox account comes with a standard set of folders, including the "public folder." Upload your PDF to the public folder.

Drop Box Files

Documents placed in the public folder are (surprise!) public and can be shared using a URL (link). You will use this URL to create your QR code. Then right click on your file and this drop down menu will appear:

Find Public Link

Select "Copy public link" and you will see a pop-up window that looks like this:

Copy Public Link

3. Create a QR Code

Copy the link to your PDF document from Dropbox. Go to QR Code Generator and select "URL" from the "Contents" drop down menu. Paste your link into the URL field and click "generate". The QR Code Generator will generate a QR code for you. (By the way, if you want to link to your Facebook page or any other web address, just enter the link in the QR Code Generator.)

Generate QR

4. Download The code and make it available

You can paste it into your bulletin, post it at the entrances to the sanctuary, or email it out in advance so people already have it up when they come to church. Be sure to include an explanation like, "Scan QR code to get this morning's liturgy on your mobile device." 

That's it. Be sure to test it yourself before sharing it. People do need an App to scan QR codes. They are widely available. I recommend the Qrafter QR Reader for iPhone and iPad.

Are you using QR codes in your ministry setting? How is it going?

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